Clinical neurosciences


Course Objective

The aim of this course is twofold: 1. Provide knowledge on neurological
and neuropsychiatric disorders,
and 2. Initiate a translational way of thinking as a neuroscientist.
To do this, we will provide knowledge on common neurological disorders:
Multiple sclerosis, childhood white matter disorders, dementia, movement
disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders and neuro-oncology. Translational
thinking will be stimulated
by continuously investigating and crosslinking the (histo)pathology,
clinical and imaging abnormalities for diagnosis and prognosis and
therapeutic options.
Lectures are provided by both researchers AND clinicians to promote
translational thinking.

Course Content

Multiple sclerosis:
Description of the clinical phenotypes of the disease. Introduction of
neuroimaging specifically adapted for MS. The use of neuropathology to
understand disease mechanisms in MS.

Childhood white matter disorders:
Introduction in MRI pattern recognition in childhood white matter
disorders. Demonstration of translational research: from patient to
gene, protein and treatment.

Description of the main clinical manifestations of dementia.
Introduction of cognitive assessment in dementias. Demonstration of the
neuropathological features of dementias.

Movement disorders:
Description of the motor and cognitive manifestations of movements
disorders. During this course the focus will be on Parkinson’s disease.

Neuropsychiatric disorders:
Description of the clinical manifestation of the main neuropsychiatric
disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depressive
disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder,
in a broad translational way; from molecule to mind.
Introduction of the underlying neuroanatomy and pathophysiology and
discussion on what the use is of neuroimaging in neuropsychiatry.

Description of the clinical/cognitive manifestations of brain tumors,
mainly glioma. The effects of these tumors on brain networks is the main

Teaching Methods

Lectures, student presentations, practical
The course runs for eight weeks, on Mondays and Thursdays

Method of Assessment

Pres: Group presentation (10% of grade)
V: Written essay, in the form of an introduction of a research paper
T: two written interim exams with open questions; a first exam after 4
weeks and a second exam at the end of the course about the
subjects/lectures of weeks 5-8 (60% in total for two exams)

Sufficient grades (>5.5) for the presentation, the essay, as well as the
exams are required in order to pass the course.
Students need to acquire sufficient grades for both written exams. Exams
cannot be averaged to obtain a sufficient grade.
The resit covers the contents of ALL 8 weeks (no interim resit).

Entry Requirements

All students following the masters program in Neurosciences at the VU
are required to take this course.
External candidates are allowed, if accepted by the course
coordinator (


Research papers and course slides provided on Canvas

Target Audience

Students interested in clinical neuroscience

Additional Information

This course is coördinated by: dr. C. Vriend (Chris) and dr. D.P.Bakker

Custom Course Registration

Enrolment in vu-net.

Recommended background knowledge

For external candidates, some (basic) knowledge on the brain and
neuroanatomy is highly recommended.
Recommended read: Neuroanatomy: an illustrated colour text (5th edition,
Crossman & Neary, ISBN 9780702054051)

General Information

Course Code AM_1005
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator C. Vriend
Examiner dr. D.P. Bakker
Teaching Staff M.M. Schoonheim
dr. D.P. Bakker

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture, Practical